Most new students coming to AUC are traveling thousands of miles away from home to study in a foreign country that they probably have never been to. For some, this may even be their first time stepping outside their country and their culture. What will it be like there? Will I be used to life as a med student? Would the school be like what I expected? Tons of questions race through many new students’ minds, and they surely went through mine and my fellow classmates’ minds as well six months ago when we first arrived. Like the new batch of incoming students, we had upper semester students help us adjust and settle into the AUC community months before our arrival to the island. They were our Orientation Advisors. And now that we have settled into med school life and reached the end of our second semester, we are now ready to give back and do the same as those who helped us through the transition. 21 fellow upper semester students and I have signed up to become Orientation Advisors for the new students of this upcoming May 2010 class.
We are expecting about 90 matriculants this upcoming May semester, and so we were each assigned 4 to 5 advisees to guide. Our goal as OAs is to keep in close contact with the incoming students and answer any questions that they may have, and to help them transition smoothly into medical school, and into the AUC community. For some students, we may be the first people from AUC that they’ll meet, and perhaps give them the first impression of what a “typical” AUC med student is like. Mine certainly did.
Many first semester students arrive to the school before most upper semester students fly in, arriving to a new country and new place where there is hardly anyone around to meet. It certainly happened to me. But in my class, we have had some OAs who stayed during the break and helped break the ice for those of us who arrived on campus, gathering people together for dinner or go on outings. Some of my classmates said that their OAs even picked them up from the airport and helped them move into their new home on the island.
We are your future fellow students and friends and we’re more than happy to help you out in welcoming you to the community. I’m looking forward to meeting you all and welcome to AUC!